What Is Beam And Block Floor Construction?
What Is Beam And Block Floor Construction?
Beam and block floor construction is a technique used to create a suspended concrete flooring system at the ground or upper floor level.
It consists of pre-stressed concrete beams, typically 130-250mm deep, which are fitted with 100mm deep building blocks placed between them.
The blocks can be made of clay or concrete, either solid or hollow (sometimes referred to as ‘pots’).
The beams provide support for the blocks and are supported at each end by internal load bearing walls or on perimeter foundations.
Beam and block floors are popular due to their quick installation time and economical cost due to off-site manufacture of the beams and blocks.
They can also be used for ground and upper floors, providing a quick and safe working platform for follow on trades in the build programme.
Additionally, insulated EPS blocks can be used in place of concrete hollow blocks for lightweight insulated slabs, keeping buildings warmer in winter and cooler in summer.
What Are The Advantages Of Beam And Block Floor?
Beam and block floor construction is a popular choice for many builders and developers due to its advantages, such as being economical, durable, and quick to install.
It also offers improved acoustic performance, higher thermal mass, and greater fire resistance.
Additionally, beam and block floors eliminate the bounce associated with timber floors.
Beam and block flooring also has some disadvantages. For example, it requires a minimum gap of 150mm between the soil and the underside of the floor, which can be difficult to achieve in certain situations.
Additionally, beam and block floors are not suitable for all types of buildings or applications.
What Are The Disadvantages Of Beam And Block Floor?
Beam and block floor construction is a popular choice for many builders and developers, as it eliminates the bounce associated with timber floors.
However, there are some disadvantages to using this type of flooring.
- Beam and block floors are not as strong as solid floors, so they can support less of a load.
- Additionally, airbricks must be installed in order to ventilate the space below the floor.
- Furthermore, beam and block floors can be more expensive than solid floors due to the off-site manufacture of beams and blocks.
- Finally, beam and block floors can be difficult to create a monolithic finish due to the use of lightweight blocks.
When Would You Use A Block And Beam Floor?
Beam and block flooring is a type of suspended concrete floor construction that is used to create in-situ floors in concrete or masonry buildings.
It consists of pre-cast, pre-stressed concrete beams that are supported at each end by internal load bearing walls or perimeter foundations, with clay or concrete blocks (solid or hollow) placed between the beams.
Beam and block flooring is popular due to its fast assembly, economical cost, and ability to provide a usable working platform.
It also has good noise reduction and fire resisting properties, and can be used to host underfloor heating systems.
Beam and block flooring is suitable for both commercial and residential buildings, as it can easily be installed without causing major disruptions to the surrounding environment.
It is often used when self-building a house due to its speed of installation and minimal need for ground preparation.
The strength of beam and block flooring is built into it, making it durable and able to carry higher loads than traditional floor slabs.
This allows for more freedom of layout upstairs as partition walls can be made from blockwork.
How Deep Is A Block And Beam Floor?
The depth of a beam and block floor varies depending on the manufacturer and the type of beam used. Beams are typically 130-250mm deep and can be made to span up to 6m.
The beam profile will depend on the span, the shape of the block, and the load it is supporting.
Longley Concrete’s beam and block flooring system uses 175mm deep prestressed concrete beams with 100mm deep building blocks laid between them.
Stressline Limited provides load span tables that provide specifiers with a guide to their products and the limitations and use of the beams within the beam and block flooring system.